Vet Blog

The Benefits of Prebiotics and Probiotics for Dogs

December 22, 2021

Prebiotics and probiotics for dogs work together to promote a healthy gut biome, which protects your dog's overall health.

Probiotics can strengthen your dog's immune system, improve digestion, and help to maintain a healthy weight. At Animal Care Center of Castle Pines, we often prescribe probiotics for dogs that suffer from digestive disorders and immune deficiencies, or to help rebuild a healthy gut biome after a course of antibiotics.

How Do Prebiotics and Probiotics Work?

Probiotics for Dogs

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria (like the L. acidophilus in your yogurt) that aid digestion, protect against pathogens, and boost the immune system. They work just the same in dogs as they do in humans, but for dogs, probiotics may be even more important for good health.

Dogs have ten times more microbial cells than humans! Because most of a dog's immune system is located in the gastrointestinal tract, gut health is very important for overall health and longevity. Keeping your dog's gut healthy will help them resist disease, fight off infections, and maintain a healthy weight.

Prebiotics for Dogs

Usually made from fruit pectin, yeast, or seaweed, prebiotics are food for probiotics. Prebiotics are a water-soluble form of fiber that can pass through the small intestine undigested to feed the good bacteria in the colon. Together, prebiotics and probiotics help maintain the balance of healthy gut bacteria. Some probiotic supplements include prebiotics to make them more effective.

What Conditions Can Probiotics Treat?

Your veterinarian might prescribe probiotic supplements for:

  • Immunosuppression Disorders - Probiotics help the immune system fight pathogens and prevent infections.
  • Digestive Disorders - Probiotics improve digestion and assist in the absorption of essential nutrients.
  • Obesity - Probiotics reduce glucose levels to help your dog maintain a healthy weight.

Although research is still ongoing, probiotics could also:

When Should I Give My Dog Probiotics?

You should only give your dogs probiotics that are recommended and prescribed by a veterinarian. Never give your dog probiotic supplements intended for human consumption without consulting your vet. Even though probiotics can have similar effects on dogs and humans, only a vet will be able to prescribe the right type and the right dose for your dog.

Your veterinarian might prescribe probiotics:

  • Following a course of antibiotics
  • To reduce diarrhea and other side effects from certain medications
  • To improve regularity and aid digestion

Besides supplements, you can also purchase specially formulated prebiotic and probiotic foods and treats for dogs. When you purchase probiotic dog food through our online pharmacy, you'll know that you're getting vet-approved food from a legitimate medical source. All food products are shipped for free and you can even get a discount when you enroll in auto-shipping.

Prebiotics and Probiotics for Dogs

Do you have questions about prebiotics and probiotics and whether they could improve your dog's health? Bring your dog to Animal Care Center of Castle Pines for a wellness exam with our caring and experienced team. Contact us at 303-688-3660 or make an appointment online today.

Photo by Ayla Verschueren on Unsplash used with permission under the Creative Commons License for commercial use 09/26/2021.